TOWN OF NEWBURGH – Over 700 soldiers from the New York Army National Guard’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed from the Stewart Air National Guard Base Tuesday for more than three weeks of Joint Readiness Training Center exercise in Fort Polk, Louisiana.
The exercise serves as a way for the two military organizations, the Army and Air National Guard, to work together cohesively, as one team.
Soldiers walk past Air National Guard C17s to board a commercial airliner
Lt. Col. Don Makay said these soldiers will be put into an environment simulating actual battle conditions against trained individuals simulating enemy combatants. He said the soldiers will learn a myriad of different skills over the course of their training.
“They’re going to learn, certainly, small unit tactics: how to defeat enemy threats,” Makay said. “They’re going to learn how to work together to communicate better, to recognize the cultures that we’re operating in: how to treat the local civilians, how to deal with the specific threats that we’re working with worldwide today and they’re all just going to take those to the next level.”
Pvt. First Class Beau Fisher said the training is something he and his fellow soldiers have been working towards for a very long time. He likened it to their Super Bowl.
“It’s actually very important for us,” said Fisher. “It gives us a kind of cohesion. It’s a good training environment. It’s something that we’ve all been looking forward to and training for a while now. It’s kind of nice to get everyone together to work as a collective unit because usually we’re broken up into our sections; so, it’s really valuable for us, and for me personally. It’s a really good experience and I’m looking forward to it.”
Specialist Travis White said the Joint Readiness Center training is the
determining factor for whether or not they are ready for actual deployment
and he is looking forward to proving himself.
“I am very anxious because I’ve been in the military for five years now and this is my first time going down; so, I’m ready to just get going and then, basically, show the guys what we’re made out of,” said White.